Thursday, 5 August 2010

Graphs, charts and tools to monitor your Twitter growth and reach

After Hanoi-based Steve Jackson (@ourman) tweeted "Is there any online software that will turn your Twitter activity into a graph?" I had a look through recommendations he received in reply and I thought I'd give them a try, alongside some of the ones I use regularly, or ones I've stumbled across and meant to use.



First up, Twitter Counter. This was a bit of a headache. Sign up, sign in, connect with Twitter, crash, generate widget code, get 'we're doing maintenance - sorry!' type message, and then finally a message saying "@LivEchoNews hasn't been updated for a while" (I'm not sure what that meant - it gets updated all day, every day). Eventually I crunched the stats for the @LivEchoNews account:

twittercounter.png

And I see the Echo's Twitter presence is in growth, that our rank and reach is growing, and the weekly average is 50 tweets. Interesting.

Meanwhile, on Twoolr (which is in beta but accepting new members) I checked usage statistics and network statistics once I'd connected Twitter to the application. It gave me interesting data in graph form:

twoolr.png

What works is the level of detail you can get - which is particularly useful if you need to monitor your brand (or you - journalists market themselves and their work, for example) a lot.
Twoolr covers who you talk to most, the distance your message travels in terms of retweets, who retweets you,and it has a nice 'cloud' feature you can tailor to take out common words like 'and' and 'I'm'.

Grader is a site I use frequently; it's fast, simple and throws up little messages while you wait for it to work its magic. But mostly I use it because I like to see who's interesting in my area.

grader.png

It also shows the 50 Twitter Elite by Location for your area - the Echo is at no. 28 (although rankings change all the time):

grader1.png

You can track your tweets by Time of Day and Day of Week using Xrefer - I found this via Mashable and it's interesting in that it uses Yahoo Pipes and Google Charts as a mashup. It also shows who you talk to most on Twitter. It's probably not the most detailed breakdown of information you'll get, but it does show that bar charts aren't always the way to go.

Tweetstats is definitely worth a visit - it tells you when and how often you tweet (broken down in months but zoomable so you can pore over daily info too), aggregates daily and hourly tweets, graphs your retweets @ replies and interfaces too. It's one businesses on Twitter should think about using regularly.

tweetstats.png

Finally, the other tool I use for work is Social Mention which is a useful brand-monitoring site complete with graphs, for those who like those things. It searches the internet - Twitter, blogs, forums, news sites and more - for your chosen keywords, and returns real-time results. Plus it assesses the 'emotional' weigh of your brand (ie. whether it's being talked about in positive or negative tones) who uses/mentions your site most, and sources. It's not exhaustive but it's good for discovering conversations about the Echo I wouldn't otherwise be aware of.

I'm sure there are other graph-tastic ways of measuring Twitter activity - just using Twitter's API and the charts option on Google docs for a start (although I haven't tried that I plan to try that next - I predict heavy wiki abuse) - but these are ones I'm aware of. I'll update this as I come across more.
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